Cardiff City v Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Can the Seagulls continue their good start?
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Cardiff City v Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Can the Seagulls continue their good start?

Cardiff City welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Wales in the Saturday lunchtime fixture. 

Matthew Wojciow

Cardiff City and Brighton & Hove Albion kick-off this weekend's Premier League action, with what promises to be an entertaining encounter. 

The Bluebirds have had a rough start to life back in the top flight with only one win from their opening 11 fixtures. That one win was against another promoted side in Fulham. Barring that game against the Cottagers, Cardiff have struggled to find goals this season, scoring only five times in the other 10 games, which is a woeful 0.5 goals per game.

Whereas at the back they have conceded 24 goals, including the two Fulham scored causing them to have an average of 2.18 goals conceded per game. 

Brighton, on the other hand, have had a decent start to the season and they could find themselves in the top half of the Premier League table with a win and if results elsewhere go their way.

The Seagulls enjoyed yet another victory over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United back in August and they picked up vital points at the sides around them to propel them up the table. Even when they have lost, it has been in the games against last season's top five and this season's surprise side Watford. 

The Cardiff City Stadium needs to become a fortress 

Cardiff at the start of this season were everyone's choice to go straight back down to the Championship and they have not really defied those doubters yet. 

As previously mentioned they have lacked a killer instinct in front of goal, whilst they are conceding too much. 12 of those goals conceded have come at the Cardiff City Stadium which simply is not good enough if you are struggling to score.

To have any chance of staying up Cardiff need to flip these numbers the other way round if they are to have any chance of beating the drop.

Saturday's game also marks Neil Warnock's 100th match in charge of the club. He said about this landmark in his pre-match press conference: "You see what happened at Leicester and with Glenn Hoddle, who I think is a fantastic guy, and it brings it home to you that life is on a thread,

"It's been one of the happiest times of my life. Having thought about retiring two or three times, I'm really glad that I didn't.

"I do feel better for doing what I've done here and I don't think my job's finished yet. But I think another 100 games might be difficult."

How high can the Seagulls soar?

Brighton have made a good start to this season and their losses have only been narrow defeats, even in those matches there were some positives to take from it. 

Chris Houghton has built a side that give it all on the pitch and he has also unearthed some gems in the transfer market as well. Brighton also have a great record against Cardiff, only losing one of their last 11 meetings, which was a 4-1 defeat back in 2016. This, however, will be the first top-flight meeting between these two sides.

The only worry ahead of this game for Brighton fans is that they have only won once in their last 19 Premier League away fixtures.

Houghton is hopeful of Brighton's chances this season and he knows how tough this trip will be. He said this in the pre-match press conference: "We've got a crucial period of games coming up - but the Premier League is such a tough league that it always applies.

"We know we're more likely to pick points up off sides outside of the top six but we have to capitalise on that ourselves.

"They will have good backing this weekend and it will be another tough game."

Team News

Joe Ralls is back for Cardiff after serving his ban but Harry Arter misses this game through suspension though. Jazz Richards and Keneth Zahore also miss the game through injury.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh is missing this game because of a hamstring strain. David Button is out with a knee injury. Pascal Gross and Davy Propper are still out injured for the Seagulls. 

Cardiff City predicted XI: Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Camaresa, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Murphy, Reid, Paterson.

Brighton predicted XI: Ryan, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockeart, Stephens, Kayal, Izquierdo, March, Murray.